Experience, Engage, Work in the Humanities 

Acquiring one of the most essential skills – learning how to question -- is at the heart of the study of the humanities at Franklin & Marshall College.

We recognize that in whatever path of life students choose, the ability to understand differing values, identify conflicts in thinking and reasoning, and find answers to complex questions is essential for cultivating qualities of innovation and leadership.

That's why we emphasize study in intimate classes, with the student-to-faculty ratio in some humanities majors, such as philosophy, as small as 5:1. And we also offer opportunities for field study and research that students might usually expect to pursue in the sciences or other fields. Students at F&M experience and engage with the questions that students elsewhere might only read about.

Students studying classics, for example, have kneeled alongside faculty with chisels in hand, digging at an archaeological site in Tuscany to find answers buried for millennia; and a student of philosophy traveled to Israel with an F&M professor to present a published paper they co-authored on the subject of emotions.

This is part of the distinctiveness  in our approach to the humanities. Study at F&M spans the full range of study of human culture and the human experience, from classical archaeology to literature, to philosophy and cultural studies, and through languages. 

We offer courses in 11 languages, ranging from introductory language courses to upper-level seminars taught in other languages on topics such as literature and film.

F&M embraces the principle that students who are linguistically, intellectually and culturally equipped to communicate successfully are better prepared to thrive in our multicultural society, both in the United States and around the world.

Story 8/28/2014

Mapping Deserted Greek Villages for Cultural and...

An F&M professor and his student researcher used the latest tool in archeology, the drone, to capture aerial photos in a survey of abandoned Greek villages.

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Story 2/16/2012

Student, Professor Take Research Findings to Israel

Professor of Philosophy Bennett Helm and senior Dan Kaplan traveled to Israel to present a paper they co-authored that explored emotions through a metaphysical lens. 

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Humanities for Life

Students Study Arabic for Life Beyond F&M 

Two Franklin & Marshall students have been selected for the U.S. Department of State's prestigious Critical Language Scholarship to study Arabic abroad hope to apply their language skills to their professional careers.  Religious Studies major Morgan Kincade traveled to Jordan and psychology major Brenna Snyder traveled to Morocco as part of a select group of 550 undergraduate and graduate students from across the country in a program designed to promote use of critical language beyond college.

Did you know ...

Some of the world's most prominent leaders in all sectors of business and industry majored in the humanities as undergraduates at colleges across the country:

  • Founder of the CNN and TBS cable TV networks, Ted Turner, was a classics major
  • Former Walt Disney Company CEO Michael Eisner was a double major in English and theatre
  • Former CEO of MTV, Judy McGrath, and the former CEO of Avon cosmetics, Andrea Jung, were both English majors

Among graduates of F&M:

  • Former counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Stan Brand graduated with a major in English
  • Actor Treat Williams of the TV series "Heartland" and "Everwood" majored in drama (now configured as a major in theatre)

The Pulse of the Humanities at F&M

Story 4/17/2017

Spring Research Fair: National and Imperial Discourses at...

"Museums and the Production of Identity" was among the many student projects on display in the Martin Library of the Sciences for the April 14 Closer Look Research Fair.  

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Story 4/4/2017

Four New Faces, and One Familiar One at 2017 Emerging...

In a typical year, the Emerging Writers Festival (EWF) welcomes five fresh faces to the Franklin & Marshall College campus for three days of dialogue about the art and craft of writing. This year is...

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Story 3/23/2017

Celebrating Musical Performance: From Tchaikovsky to de Meij

Franklin & Marshall College’s Brian Norcross conducted a different type of community conversation before a large crowd during the College’s Common Hour March 23. 

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Story 3/6/2017

F&M Religious Studies Professor Earns Prestigious Fellowship

F&M Associate Professor of Religious Studies John Modern will spend the 2018-19 academic year at the University of Pennsylvania, working on a research project funded by a prestigious fellowship he...

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Story 3/2/2017

Freedom Without Borders and Other Events from Africa...

Abdellah Taïa, perhaps one of the only openly gay Moroccan writers and filmmakers, visits F&M this spring as  part of Africa Worldwide, a series of lectures, films, exhibits and student-led...

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Story 2/23/2017

Saving Endangered Languages from Going Extinct

At Common Hour Feb. 23, K. David Harrison, associate professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College, talked  on the topic, “What Happens When Languages Die? Cultural Survival Without a Tongue,”

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Story 2/9/2017

Editor Discusses Literary Translation at Writers House Craft...

Ann Goldstein, editor for The New Yorker magazine and celebrated Italian translator, met with students Feb. 8 at Franklin & Marshall College’s Philadelphia Alumni Writers House for an afternoon...

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Story 2/6/2017

What Lies Underneath Small-Town Life in “Winesburg, Ohio”?

Author Sherwood Anderson wrote a series of short stories about the lives of people in a fictional Midwestern small town that was published as a collection in 1919. Today, “Winesburg, Ohio” is the...

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Story 2/2/2017

Lindback Recipient: Math Offers Different Perspectives on...

Franklin & Marshall College’s 2016 recipient of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, Professor of Mathematics Annalisa Crannell, stood before the audience in Mayser Gymnasium to discuss how...

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